per espn insider
UPDATE: Carolina has requested – and been granted – permission to interview Ron Rivera, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. No word yet on the timetable for this interview.
Rivera makes an intriguing candidate because of the variety of schemes he’s worked in as a defensive coordinator – both the 3-4 with the Chargers and a 4-3 (including a variation of the Tampa 2 in Chicago) – and as a player in Buddy Ryan’s 46 defense for the legendary Bears’ unit from 1985.
The list of potential candidates to take over as head coach of the Carolina Panthers after John Fox’s swan song has grown week by week. Generally, it’s believed that the team will target a rising assistant or coordinator as opposed to one of the “big name” coaches – which may take them out of the Hunt for Harbaugh, though it’s believed there is at least some interest in the Stanford coach – but it is unclear whether this man will have an offensive or defensive pedigree.
John Czarnecki of Fox Sports provided his weekly pre-game blitz of information on all the games Sunday morning, and within the capsule on the matchup between the Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons, he included more names for the list of potential candidates in Carolina: Arizona Cardinals assistant head coach Russ Grimm, Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and San Diego Chargers DC Ron Rivera. [Editor’s note: Rivera’s no stranger to the head coach interview circuit, and there’s been talk of him as a candidate this offseason too]. Other candidates who’ve been rumored to be in the team’s crosshairs include New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.
The search has begun in earnest now that the season is officially over, and the team may move quickly to snatch up the candidate they want: after all, even though interviews haven’t started, they’ve essentially had a full season to consider their options.
The carrot that the Panthers can hold out in front of potential candidates is the No. 1 overall pick, and the possibility of developing Stanford QB Andrew Luck, who may declare his eligibility for the draft.
[right]- Tim Kavanagh[/right]